Mideast Stocks: Dubai leads major Gulf bourses higher as Omicron fears ease

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 1%

  

Most stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Tuesday, on receding worries about the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant, with the Dubai index outperforming the region.

A health official in South Africa reported over the weekend that Omicron cases in the country had only shown mild symptoms, while Dr. Anthony Fauci — the top U.S. infectious disease expert — told CNN that "it does not look like there's a great degree of severity" so far.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 1%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.3%, while petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) climbed 1.8%.

Omani state energy company OQ signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday with SABIC on developing Oman's Duqm petrochemical complex project.  

Omani and Saudi firms signed 13 MoUs valued at $30 billion, the Saudi state news agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday. 

The agreements were announced amid an official visit by the Saudi crown prince, who started a Gulf tour on Monday before a Gulf summit this month.  

Elsehwere, oil behemoth Saudi Aramco added 0.6%, a day after it signed a $15.5 billion lease-and-leaseback deal for its gas pipeline network with a consortium led by BlackRock Real Assets and state-backed Hassana Investment Co. 

Dubai's main share index advanced 1.3%, boosted by a 1.9% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

Dubai house prices will extend their rise into the next year at twice the rate expected three months ago, driven by demand from foreign investors and improving affordability, according to a Reuters poll of property analysts. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 0.5%, reaching a record high, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank climbing 1.7%.

The Qatari benchmark was up 0.5%, on course to end two sessions of losses.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))


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